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Ginette Lamont-Clarke and Florence Stevens
Illustrated by Odile Ouellet

Montreal, Tundra Books, 1990. 24pp, paper, ISBN 0-88776-251-4 (hardcover) $10.95, ISBN 0-88776-259-X (paper) $6.95
Available in French as Et si I'autobus nous oublie? CIP

Pre-school to Grade 2/Ages 4 to 7
Reviewed by Linda Holeman.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

This attractive book was created as a "whole language" text by two instruc­tors; it is designed to be educational as well as entertaining for the young child.

Kindergarten twins Melanie and Mark are anxious about their first day at school. They worry that the bus won't remember to bring them home at lunch-time; in fact, they may never get home again! To prepare for the worst, the two children pack enough to cover every worrisome "what if...." "What if winter comes and the bus still hasn't come?" Their chokes are predictable but amusing - snowsuits, skates, shovel and toboggan.

Stevens and Lamont-Clarke have dealt with one of children's very real worries with humour and sensitivity. The ending is reassuring, and in the tone of children's books today, Mark and Melanie successfully work through their fears on their own. Ouellet's stylish illustrations have a wonderful sense of reality. Her attention to all details, especially facial expressions, results in strong appealing pages.

Standing strongly on its own merit, What if the Bus Doesn't Come? can also be a spring-board for further discussions on the "what if" fears of all young children.

Linda Holeman, Winnipeg, Man.
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